Marketing 360º for apartments in Switzerland

We value the privacy of our customers. Therefore, according to the NDA, we are not allowed to reveal the customer’s name. But we will share with you the problems we encountered and how we were able to solve them.

About the product

  • The client’s project is a complex of apartments managed by a global hotel brand in the Swiss Alps resort area.
  • The main peculiarity of the apartments is that the duration of stay is limited — the owners can be there no more than 8 weeks a year. Thanks to that, they profit from the rental programme of real estate and enjoy all the services of the hotel when they come on holiday.
  • The cost of the apartments starts from 1.2 million euros and exceeds the market price by 30% on average.


We started to work with a client at a time of crisis: the height of the pandemic, marketing costs are rising with no results at all, and uncertainty reigns in the real estate market.

The restrictions imposed on travelling within Europe have blocked the interest of foreign buyers, with the product being designed primarily for them.

The task of marketing is to sell apartments. At the time the IDEAS agency entered the project, only 25% of the total number of apartments were sold during a year and a half of the previous contractor’s work.

Our task was ambitious — to sell at least 15% of apartments in six months.

Advertising numbers at the start from the previous contractor:

The number of apartment views in six months:

Price per lead:
 900 €

Percentage of apartments sold in six months:

Cost per view of the apartment:
 14 000 € 😲


Before the start of the work, we encountered several challenges:

The client had a manual CRM, a low-converting sales funnel, and no end-to-end advertising analytics. We could not even determine which channels led to sales.

The apartment website was too similar to a hotel one, and 9 out of 10 visitors leave within 20 seconds without realizing that the site was about selling real estate.

Only contextual and offline media advertising was used as promotion channels, with a Facebook page as an SMM tool.

Our Way

What did we do?

  • Analyzed the market and buyers, compiled JTBD and CJM based on them
  • Identified two target audiences: investors and holiday home buyers
  • Created a new website with a dynamic home page for the two audiences with different positioning
  • Implemented CRM, built a sales funnel, and connected the system of end-to-end analytics
  • Organized photo and video shooting with the team of apartments in Switzerland
  • Prepared creative concepts for each of our audiences in English and German
  • We launched targeted advertising on Facebook and Instagram and contextual advertising on Google PPC, optimizing the budget for the quality and quantity of leads
  • Progressively narrowed audiences by interest, income, geography, and behaviour to determine the most appropriate customer portrait
  • Expanded the network of brokers with targeted advertising to develop it in the long term perspective
Alesya StyazhkinaProject Director about the launch of the project
Initially, the client requested social media maintenance. But whenever we get such a specific task, we always ask: «And what is your ultimate goal?». After a series of meetings, it became clear that the goal was sales, and SMM would not help achieve it. As a result, we conducted a full audit of the marketing campaign and quickly built an anti-crisis strategy, including reassembling the audience and tuning the sales funnel. By the way, if you need an anti-crisis strategy too, contact us.

Audience Segmentation

Analysis of previous sales has shown that the customer’s target audience consists of two parts.

  1. The first one purchased the properties for investment purposes — making a profit from the rental programme and potential price increases.
  2. The second one — to come to the apartments and enjoy hotel vacations near the ski resorts. This was confirmed by the way the owners used the apartments.

We compiled two different Jobs to be Done (JTBD) and a Customer journey map (CJM) to better understand customers’ initial motivation, identify touchpoints and pain points that a product can solve.

Maxim RadomskiProject Manager
One of the purchases happened almost spontaneously: a client stayed in the apartment and liked everything so much that he came to the reception and made a purchase request. Such a scenario is hard to take as a typical one, but it suggested the idea that the product should be tried, so the «apartment test drive» became an obligatory step in the sales funnel. Subsequently, it turned out that 20 visits bring an average of 1 sale.

For example, this is what JTBD looked like for vacation property buyers:


Investors and «vacationers»

We launched photo and video creatives for two audience segments in two languages — English and German. Quite quickly, it became clear that the German creative works worse: the requests are much more expensive, even though German is the main language in the targeted regions. Moreover, the number of requests for property search in Germany was significantly higher.

In general, investors were much more expensive and less active in the sales funnel. If they did show interest, they asked a lot of questions, studied the product thoroughly, and refused, comparing either with competitors or with other investment tools.

Pavel RoevHead of performance
The work was based on testing the maximum number of hypotheses in a short time. Despite the long cycle of the real estate deal, in two or three weeks we already understood how successful the work was with a particular audience.

We tested the advertising creatives and the audience, landing pages, managers’ communication schemes, methods, welcome letters, and the frequency of their delivery.

Short sprints and quick reactions allowed us to keep our numbers up and not be afraid of failed tests. We always had a few backup options.

Rectangle 38

Athletic and affluent

We halved the cost of leads and quadrupled their number, but the visits were still not converted into sales.

With end-to-end analytics and budget optimization on effective ads, we quickly balance between qualified leads and their numbers.

The analysis of the refused leads helped us shape a new target portrait. It already included interest in real estate, sports, business, investments, and the age of 40+ to filter out those who had not purchased their homes yet. However, none of this was enough.

Maxim RadomskiProject Manager
We realized that we lacked another limitation on the audience, which would help identify wealthy clients. Thanks to our analysts, there was a hypothesis of narrowing the audience by geo to big cities, where real estate prices are higher. Then another hypothesis appeared: those who already own such expensive real estate financially and psychologically can afford it.

Closer and clearer

One of the reasons investors turned off the audience was that they were too rational in their choice of product. They had the money to buy it, but the product was missing some parameters to competitors, and that did not allow them to make a choice in our favour. Therefore, we just had to appeal to the people who could afford it. To be closer to them and more understandable.

Yulia BogdanovaTraffic manager
Turning off investors as an audience, as well as creatives in German, helped us optimize the budget and test more hypotheses. When we realized that we needed to push emotion, we gave the designers SOW for more driving creatives, and it worked.


We made a list of areas in Switzerland with the cost per square meter of real estate was higher than our product. We had a list of indexes of such areas, which we used as geo for targeted ads.

Active lifestyle creatives were easy to maintain in the client’s product location. As a result, they attracted our target audience. We received few bids at a high price point, and most of them made it to the warm stage of the funnel. After a month and a half, which is the average transaction length, we sold 10% of the apartments.


Thanks to all of these actions over six months of work with the client, we were able to:

5 times

increased the number of leads

6 times

reduce the cost of leads

by 70%

decrease the cost of offline views

5 times

increase the number of apartment views

We continue to work with the client and will share updated results soon.

Client FeedbackAnonymous Marketing Director
IDEAS has an attentive and caring approach that helps get results.

They provide a high level of communication and constantly coming up with new things (we even got a little tired!), and stayed on top of it. It is great because the project is moving toward its goal.

Highly recommend!

Work on the case

Case published in 2021


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